One of rap's hottest videos is steeped in Buffalo-area scenery.
No. 5 on YouTube's Trending videos, "Pretty Little Fears," a joint effort by hip-hop moguls 6lack and J. Cole, features scenes from Woodlawn Beach in Hamburg, Fantasy Island in Grand Island, the old Niagara Falls High School (now the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center) and downtown by Shea's Performing Arts Center.
Directed by New York City-based filmmaker Matthew Dillon Cohen, the chill track – now closing in on 2 million views in two days – was produced when J. Cole visited Buffalo for his KeyBank Center show on Sept. 25.
The clip opens with a scene at Woodlawn – its location confirmed by the narrow entrance path and wind turbines lurking in the background – then moves to the old Niagara Falls High School gym, on Pine Avenue, that's now the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center. (Eagle-eyed former PrepTalk editor Keith McShea spotted the various high school logos dotting the rear wall).
Peering closely at the night car scene in 6lack's part, the green Shea's marquee on the Pearl Street side of the venue is visible, at the 1:03 mark of the video. The ensuing parking lot that 6lack and his companion walk through is behind the old Bambino restaurant, between Pearl and Franklin streets.
J. Cole joins the fray for the first time at a desolate Fantasy Island, with scenes split between the amusement park and the Grand Island KOA, a campsite a few hundred yards down Grand Island Boulevard. His love interest dances just inside the entrance to Voelker's bowling alley, at Elmwood Avenue and Amherst Street - recognizable because of the glass block windows.
Just over a month ago, Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly picked downtown Buffalo's DL&W Terminal as the backdrop for his "Rap Devil" diss track on Eminem.